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Southern Cameroons: The Lost Generation




Dear All,
there is nothing more dangerous than going into a fight without knowing the cost of the fight although you might know the benefits of the victory. To build a house, you have an architect who designs the house, a structural engineer designs the structural components and a quantity surveyor who costs the project before you start building because you have to plan your resources, know how much equity is required and how much borrowing has to be done.

It is with alarm that I find people talking about schools in Southern Cameroons starting in January 2018 and not September 2017 or similar. The truth is that schools will neither start in September 2017 nor January 2018. We are not talking about a lost academic year or lost 2 academic years. We are talking about a lost generation. The price of liberation or independence is a heavy one and unless we are willing to pay it, we should not have started a fight we cannot sustain. I met a guy from Eritrea in the Middle East, He was in medical school when his people started fighting for liberation or independence and he left medical school to join the fight. It took more than 5 years before independence came. Today he is not a medical doctor and doing his bits and pieces in the Middle East to survive but very happy. He pointed the flag of his country in his car and told me “that is my medical degree. I lost a doctor but I gained a country so I am very happy.”

Biya has only one weapon which is time. Prove tough, concede nothing except cosmetic issues and rough it through. The anglofools might fight for one semester or two but by the third they will be tired and start schools and that is the end of their much vaunted liberation fight. Biya is using “General Time” against the Southern Cameroonians. He believes time will make the lawyers hungry enough to get back to work and some are so hungry that they wear jeans and sneak into court to do some black market law when no one is looking I am told.

If a solution is not found fast enough, I predict various things will come to pass including but not limited to the following:
Burning of schools will continue.
When schools fail to start in September, frustration will cause the graduation of burning of schools to burning of government offices which represent the francophone government
Then the worst escalation will be the giving of an ultimatum for the francophone government personnel to leave Southern Cameroons.
The ultimatum will be followed by a further ultimatum for all francophones to leave Southern Cameroons.
If the ultimatums are not followed, there will be attacks on francophone officials and civilians in Southern Cameroons
Francophones will also threaten or attack our people in Douala and Yaounde.
The name Cameroon and Rwanda will come to be written on the same infamous page of blood.

The price for liberation is very high and it is not one or two years of no school as some erroneously thought. A whole generation might be lost before liberation comes. The government is hoping time will wear down Southern Cameroonians for them to capitulate, end ghost towns and start schools and its occupation of Southern Cameroons will continue without any more resistance and the exploitation of resources to be escalated. The francophone government is sleeping whilst the foundation for a Rwanda like confrontation is hurriedly being put in place. We all would like to eschew violence but we know it is coming and coming bigly and we must be prepared that thousands might have to die before independence is achieved. Many countries sacrificed thousands and even millions of people to get independence so we should not be naive enough to think ours will be given to us on a platter of gold by La Republique du Cameroun. It will take years and much blood before Southern Cameroons is free and the earlier we realise that the better. Short term fixes and bloodless liberation by SCACUF led case or cases is a pipe dream. Such will help but greater sacrifice is required.

We pray that government can realise what is coming and resolve the problem in time to prevent the ultimate blood bath.

Barrister Martin Tumasang

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